Amanda Curry, a Computer Science PhD student, was part of a group who reached the top three finalists in the Amazon Alexa challenge, a global competition for university students dedicated to accelerating the field of conversational AI.
What appealed to you most about Heriot-Watt University?
Heriot-Watt has a world-leading team of researchers working on my area. The Interaction Lab at Heriot-Watt is one of the largest groups working on developing conversational agents. They have strong ties to industry and with other leading research groups around the world. In addition, the University is located in a beautiful and vibrant city that is perfect for students.
Do you think your Heriot-Watt postgraduate experience gave you an edge in your chosen field and if so, why?
I have so much support from my supervisor and co-supervisor, not to just work on my research but also to get involved in related projects, such as the Amazon Alexa Challenge. My involvement in these projects has allowed me to publish in large international conferences in my area of research. In addition, the staff are very supportive and approachable and happy to help you with whatever you need.
What has surprised you most about your Heriot-Watt experience?
Heriot-Watt offers a lot of support to students, both in terms of resources available for research and more personal support. It has a great staff/student ratio so I have always known who I could talk to if I was having any issues.
Upon graduating where do you hope your degree will lead you?
I hope my PhD will lead me to a research job in an AI company such as Microsoft or Google, likely based in London or the USA, or starting a business related to my area of research.
What advice would you give to a potential student considering Heriot-Watt?
Heriot-Watt offers a high level of education and support to students to ensure you get the most out of your experience at the University. In addition, it offers excellent services and links to industry to help you even after you graduate.